We fly north in two weeks. Two weeks from yesterday, actually. Our children will start at their new school on May 12… and if we’re lucky our moving truck with all our belongings (and second car) will arrive then, too. Or at least by the 15th. We’ll see.
Moving is one of life’s big stressors, right? All that change and upheaval. I have to admit, I like the change and upheaval. I like that professional movers come in and touch everything I own and transport it all for me. I like surrendering a bit. I even like the challenge of figuring out new systems and rules in cities and schools, all the hassle that is involved with setting up a new household. Maybe I’ve been watching the kids play Minecraft too much, but there’s something very rewarding about creating something new and figuring things out without any directions or expectations.
But the part that causes real stress, real anguish, is the actual leaving. The “good-bye.” I. Hate. It. So very, very much. It hurts, you see.
Last night my neighborhood friends threw me a little party. We hadn’t gotten together in a while and it was beyond lovely to reconnect and catch up. They gave me little gifts that represented each of them: Homemade wind chimes, a plateful of cookies, a travel wine mug celebrating obsessive-compulsive tendencies, a toy frog, a coffee mug filled with a hot cocoa pack and marshmallows… and a doll with an injured and horribly askew leg holding a flag that reads “Man down!” — in six and a half years, a lot of funny and sweet stuff happens. It felt so good to remember. I haven’t laughed so hard or cried/laughed (craughed?) so hard in so long.
Then they gave me these.
And then, THEN, they sang me a song. They got up in front of me and sang an adapted version of “Hey Soul Sister,” with lyrics re-written by my dear friend who has one of the busiest lives I know of.
Lyrics like “Your move-north pains are in our hearts and eyes and in our brains. We know we wouldn’t forget you, and so we went and let you move up north…. Now we’re few and blue, on the boulevard, in the yard, the way you move ain’t fair, it’s hard… We don’t wanna miss a single thing you do.” If this blog weren’t anonymous and if my friends would allow it I’d post the video. It is epic and bittersweet, like the finest bar of dark chocolate.
It was all too much for me to bear. I can’t even type these words without crying.
I’ve been so extraordinarily lucky, to have moved onto a street populated with great women and good neighbors who turned into true friends. I don’t know what I’m going to do in a couple weeks on a new street, in a new home… Will anybody bring me a plate of cookies? Will anybody run over and introduce themselves and give me everybody’s name and number, and then bring us dinner? Will I be invited to birthday parties, or to long-weekend girls’ getaways? Will I meet friends who can stop by on quiet weeknights when my husband is traveling, and enjoy a glass of wine, and talk and laugh for hours?
It has been idyllic, our life on this street. We’ve been safe and welcomed and happy and healthy.
It will hurt to leave. As excited as I am to start fresh, as thrilled as I am for new opportunities, for growth… It will hurt to leave. A lot.